The most comprehensive bicycle chain maintenance guide

The most comprehensive bicycle chain maintenance guide

The chain is one of the most worn parts of the bicycle system, and is the link between the power transmission of the vehicle as well as  your pedaling frequency.

Good bicycle chain maintenance will help improve the quality of your bike and slow down wear and tear on other related parts (sprocket, freewheel, etc.).

When the chain is working normally, you can hardly feel its presence, but when there is a problem with the chain, you may not be able to move an inch.

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    What are the components of a chain?

    It’s important to learn about the chain before we talk about the bicycle chain maintenance.

    What are the components of a chain

    Bicycle chain maintenance is usually required under what circumstances?

    Situations when need bicycle chain maintenance:

    ① Reduced shifting performance during riding (significant delay in shifting)

    ② Too much dust or sludge on the chain (too much grease and dirt transmission resistance)

    ③ Noise when the drivetrain is running (wear and tear between the chain and the freewheel of the gears during transmission)

    ④ Clucking sound when pedaling due to dry chain (too dry without lubrication)

    ⑤ Left for a long time after rain (corrosion and rust)

    ⑥ Needs maintenance (cleaning and oiling) at least once every two weeks or every 200 km or so when driving on normal roads

    ⑦ Should be maintained every time you come back from a ride in a rough environment (to prevent corrosion and rust)

    Chain maintenance is usually required under what circumstances

    What is the way to clean the chain when doing the bicycle chain maintenance?

    Necessary tools of bicycle chain maintenance

    For bicycle chain maintenance, we need: maintenance rack, cleaning agent, old newspaper, dry rag, lubricant, old toothbrush, syringe, chain washer, oil pen.

    Cleaning steps of bicycle chain maintenance

    Steps when do the bicycle chain maintenance:

    Step 1: Lay newspaper or rag on the work floor to receive any excess cleaning fluid that may drip down the chain during the cleaning process.

    Step 2: Place the bike on the repair stand with the tooth plate changed to the middle or small plate and the freewheel changed to the middle cog.

    Adjust the bike so that the lower part of the chain is as parallel to the ground as possible.

    Step 3: Use a brush or rag to wipe some of the mud, dirt and grime from the chain first.

    Step 4: Fill the dishwasher with a cleaning solution.

    Step 5: Place the chain washer at the bottom of the lower chain, positioned in the middle of the teeth and freewheel, and assemble the chain washer.

    Step 6: Hold the handle tightly and slowly turn the crank counterclockwise. After several turns, the chain will be cleaned. If necessary, load a new cleaning solution and continue cleaning until the chain is clean.

    Hold the handle with your left hand and turn the crank with your right hand. Both hands should be difficult to balance so that the chain can turn smoothly.

    What is the way to clean the chain

    At first, it may not be easy to grasp the force, and you may not be able to pull the chain, or pull the chain away from the disc, but it will be fine after you get used to it.

    When cleaning, you can turn it over more times and try to clean the seam.

    Step 7: Use a rag to wipe off all the cleaning solution from the chain and dry it as much as possible.

    Perform front and rear shifting, then wipe off the cleaning fluid left on the tooth plate, freewheel, etc. as well.

    After wiping, put it in the sun to dry or air dry, and the chain should be thoroughly dried before oiling.

    Step 8: Immediately wipe away scattered contaminants and dispose of the cleaning solution and dirty rags. After finishing, rinse the chain washer with water and then air dry.

    How to oil the chain when doing the bicycle chain maintenance?

    Oiling is one of the most important parts when we do the bicycle chain maintenance.

    Oiling should be done after washing and drying as much as possible. Use special chain oil for lubrication.

    If you have conditions, you can use chain oil with more comprehensive functions (dry, wet, etc.), which is more effective and, of course, more expensive.

    Step 1: Each piece of metal that constitutes the chain must be stained with oil between them.

    When oiling, drip oil to both sides of the chain pins one by one (this is where the chain really needs lubrication), if there are 108 pins in the chain, drip oil to 216 places.

    The disadvantage is that the amount of oil is not easy to control. If you don’t mind the trouble, you can use a syringe, which is more effective.

    Since there are more places to oil, you can make a mark on the chain with an oil pen first, then start oiling from the mark, and then when you meet the mark again, it means you are done.

    How to oil the chain

    Use a syringe to put oil on both sides of the chain, just 1 or 2 drops each time.

    Step 2: After finishing, leave it for a few minutes to let the oil soak through the entire chain.

    Step 3: The oil left on the outside of the chain will only stick to the dust.

    Wrap the chain with a dry rag and turn the crank to wipe out the excess oil.

    Step 4: If there is more oil on the cogs and freewheels, change the chain back and forth, change the chain away from the cogs and freewheel, and use a rag to dry the oil on the cogs and freewheel.

    These oils have no other effect than sticking to dust.

    Step 5: After each general run, use a rag to keep it clean, and then clean and oil it after a period of time.

    When riding in muddy places, the oil on the chain will quickly disappear.

    At this time, the chain is very worn and loud, and needs to be replenished on time.

    If you have anything else to add, please feel free to leave a comment. We hope this article can be helpful to you when doing bicycle chain maintenance.

    When does a bicycle chain need to be replaced?

    The degree of chain wear and riding habits, riding environment, poor tooth ratio are related.

    The excessive loss of the chain not only affects the riding efficiency, but also hurts the flywheel and gear, and even endangers the riding safety in serious cases, so the inspection of the chain can not be ignored.

    About the inspection of the chain: the first detection is about 1,000km, the second detection is about 2,500km, and the chain should be replaced when it reaches about 5,000km.

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